Alert level issued for Filipinos in Guam, Northern Marianas

MANILA-- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday issued Alert Level 1 for Filipinos residing in Guam and the Northern Marianas islands in the wake of North Korea's threats to fire ballistic missiles.

Under Alert Level 1, which is considered a precautionary phase, Filipino nationals in Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Rota are urged to be aware of the unfolding events and to continue monitoring reports from reliable media outlets and official advisories from the government of Guam and Guam Homeland Security-Office of Civil Defense.

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano assured the public that contingency measures are in place in case the Democratic People's Republic of Korea makes good its threat to fire missiles towards Guam.

Well, (Filipinos) in Guam or Japan, in Republic of Korea, just stay calm. Keep in touch with the embassy. We will ask them to give updates through social media because most people naman ngayon may mobile phones na-u-update sila (now have mobile phones, they are updated), he told reporters.

Most important thing at the start of a crisis is you know who to talk to, where to go, how to communicate. If you have all of that, that's half of the battle. Then everything else depends on the circumstances on the ground, he added.

Cayetano was in touch with Philippine Consul General to Guam, Marciano R. de Borja, Monday morning to discuss the situation in Guam and Northern Marianas.

The DFA on Monday approved the recommendation made by the Consulate General of the Philippines in Agana to place these areas on alert level.

Please stay in touch with your families and friends so that they know how to contact you. It will be prudent to share your travel itinerary with them, and in the event of a contingency, do let them know that you are safe, advised the Philippine Consulate General in Agana in a statement.

De Borja reminded all Filipinos to be ready to respond to any critical incident by having their passports and other documents readily on hand and to prepare a grab bag with essential supplies, including food and water.

De Borja assured he will be ready to respond and assist affected Filipinos in Guam in case the situation in the Korean Peninsula worsens.

Source: Philippine News Agency